El Toro IPA | El Toro Brewing Co.

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El Toro IPAEl Toro IPA
Very Good
93 Ratings
El Toro IPAEl Toro IPA

Brewed by:
El Toro Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 77
Reviews by olmatty:
Photo of olmatty
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber with a huge pillowy off white head. The beer is crystalline and clean.

Light spice of hop aroma, grainy and a hint of honey sweetness.

Flavors of solid cereal grain body well balanced against a spicy, piney hop.

Moderate body, palate flooding flavors.

Very pleasant and delicious IPA.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you wanna hop fix without the huge alcohol this California IPA is it,pours a hazed peach color with a very clingy 1/2 finger white head leaving the pint glas with soap scum looking lace all the way down.Whoo resiny piney hop with big grapefruit rind notes in the nose I also picked up some apricot in there with a barely noticable sweeter caramel malt note.Citrusy and piney flavors what can you say its all left coast quite resiny and sweet,somewhat oily on the mouthfeel department.A hop fixer here and quite sociable to boot,yum.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for this brew a trade. Prost!

Pours with a nice one inch head. Nice amber color. Smells of pine hops. Tastes mostly of pine hops but with a bit of creaminess of some kind that I can't place. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is a drinkable IPA. I am glad to have tried it. Cheers.

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Photo of punkhim
1.5/5  rDev -61.7%

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Orange bolstered amber. Head clings and grows, and doesn't wilt and is greying khaki.
Smells of leafy pineapples and pine trees.
Brown-sugar enhanced toffee is the malt's contribution here. It drys as is lingers in the mouth. Breadier later on. Almost rye-leaning in the minor spicy tone, but those are delusions that accompany the hops. Speaking of which, the bitterness comes in spades...especially up front. Cold-edged, steely, herbal-laced pine cones. Woody, tropical fruit backs this up initially, then steps to the fore as it progresses. Pineapple is dominant, but lime rinds are noted. Bitterness wanes a bit, but remains forceful.
Medium-full bodied. Satiating. Low expressed carbonation.

What's more impressive, is that I'm inclined to believe that this bottle is rather old (and probably abused in one way or another). How monsterously hoppy could a fresh sample be? It would likely bring me to my knees.

Regardless, a worthy choice, this.

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent copper, with some floaters in the mix. Big soft off white head that hangs around for awhile. Takes me 2 pours to get it all in. Either I'm getting shittier at pouring, or the beer's I've been choosing lately are really carbonated.

A lot of yeast aroma, and a little bit of piney hops. Makes me wonder how long this has been on the shelves. There is some printing that says BREW 1248. Hoping not bottled December, 1948.

Taste is a stunner, after that less than promising aroma. I can taste the yeast, so maybe it is a bit old, but also a wonderful hop flavor. Pine, herbal, a bit minty, traces of citrus fruits. Great malt here too. A little maple syrup, bready flavor keeps it balanced.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but with the taste as big as it is, I hardly noticed, until I got here, and had to rate it. A little creamy, and a bitter finish leave me ready for more.

I would assuredly drink this again and again. I would recommend this to my friends. This is a better than average IPA. El Toro lulled me, and I'm wearing red. This is a tasty brew, and one I will try again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, deep-orange/copper body is capped by a short head of creamy vanilla foam. The retention is limited, however, and it drops shortly to a thin surface covering and leaves very little lace. Bright, piney and citrusy hops appear in the nose over a mild fruitiness and distinctly caramelish malt. A most enticing aroma! In the mouth its very fine, natural carbonation wakes the tongue with a soft, prickly sensation that fades to leaves its medium body soft and smooth in the swallow. Rich, fruit-laced malt acts as a solid base for its bold hop flavor; balanced by a bold bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste long after the malt has gone. Very nice!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, $1.29, Brennan's - University

appearance: pours a pulpy clear golden-amber into a between the buns pint glass...3/4 frothy white foam with some solid retention

smell: well then, a surprisingly (brennans is hit or miss, usually miss) pungent and juicy IPA, sour grapefruit, grainy malt, pulpy hops, chalky aroma, light pine

taste: high bitterness level noticed immediately, chalky feel, pulpy ruby red grapefruit, sugary, other nice citrus flavours, light toasted malt presence, lightly spicy...Definitely one of the best obscure brews i have found at Brennan's

mouthfeel: high bitterness, a tongue twister, chalky, medium body

drinkabilty: above average

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Photo of bditty187
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

“Brew 930”

Surprisingly hazy, hell I’d call it cloudy! Dark amber with a tawny-coppery hue, lovely. The head was slightly off-white and it billowed to over two fingers in height before it quickly faded to a half finger cap. This cap lasted awhile. Nice. The appearance is better than ordinary. Subsequent lacing was prevalent but unorganized. This is a handsome beer. The nose is very bright; well-rounded citrus zest with soft notes of pine and mint. I detected a hint of wild flowers but the majority of the hoppiness in the nose is grapefruit rinds and pine trees. Lovely. Simplistic in that “hoppy as hell” kind of way! Soft melon scents and tropical fruits. Not much malt. Still the nose is inviting. It smells like a West Coast IPA, what more do I need to say? The palate is just raw enough, perfectly hoppy with a blast of dry, sticky, hop leaves. There is a hint of dankness like good marijuana. Plus there is a big bite of citrus, mainly rinds. Pine needles. Mint leaves. Wild flowers. Fairly warm entering my throat; I wonder what the abv is? The malt is very secondary, hints of caramel and some light sweetness. The taste is a good, hearty, American hop-bomb. Thankfully there are enough layers for me to care. This is a really pleasant IPA. The aftertaste is dry, hoppy, and bitter. It makes me want to eat a big, fat, juicy burger with a big slab of cheddar cheese. Yummy! Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel doesn’t strike me as noteworthy in any way. It is not thin or flat and I can’t find any faults, still it does leave me wanting something more. Maybe a tickle more malt? However, there isn’t any obstacle to cross in order to like this beer. Drinkability is high; I really enjoyed quaffing this dandy. I purchased one bottle of this IPA in Brookfield, WI because I never heard of this brewery before. Now that I’ve visited the IPA I want more. Recommended.

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Photo of Troyone
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in a 12oz. bottle, label says 6.5 abv; Recommendation, after one pops the top shake the bottom of the bottle before pouring it in the glass.
Poured a hazy somewhat copper and light iced tea to apple juice color with two inch head, also had lots of material in the haze like tiny hop flakes or yeast floating around. The floating specks of hops or yeast are almost uniform in size and seem to be spaced evenly throughout the glass, no beer drinker will see them all (or even the majority) settle to the bottom.

The smell is slightly malty with a rich flowery pine/resin hoppy aroma.

The taste has a cookie, toasted, nutty, and taffy malt; heavy to harsh slightly herb, pine, grapefruit, resin, slightly lime, and different flavors of tea hops; light doughy yeast; and has hints of toffee/cola. However the hops are smooth and dominate throughout to the finish.

The mouthfeel has a light/medium body, slightly syrupy dry texture, soft carbonation, with a smooth but manly finish.

The drinkability is great the carbonation is medium throughout and the aftertaste lingers the hops with the medium carbonation.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this beer on a trip to Wisconsin a couple years ago. It still hasn't made it the Chicago area market, so every trip I take to Wisconsin demands a stop at a Brennan's market and the purchase of at least a six-pack of El Toro IPA. This particluar bottle of El Toro IPA pours a slightly hazy gold with a huge head that settles leaving lacing making for a very visually appealing beer. The honey-citrus aroma is quite appealing, too. The hop flavor is massive and intensely spicy, peppery and "hot." The hoppy flavors are laced with bits of vanilla and honey sweetness, before everything gets blown away by the exceptionally bitter finish that overwhelms the palate. After a few sips all taste is spicy, bitter hops. The malt in this beer merely supports the hops. Hopheads should celebrate this beer, one of the few I think could almost be too bitter (affecting the drinkability score somewhat.) This bottle was more full-bodied and less dry than I remember since the last time I reviewed this beer. It's still one heck of an IPA, though.

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Photo of GJonesy
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Goldorak
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Light caramel, kind of hard to judge the head in the ice cold bud light shaker pint filled all the way to the edge.

Smell: A large helping of C hops dominate the nose, a bit of pink grapefruit and pine, pine, pine. If you like the smell of pinesol, this Beer is for you.

Taste: The bitterness is sustained at first, with just a touch of caramel sweetness. But the more the pint went down the astringency went downright acrid, finishing bone dry. It was pretty good, but the kind of Beer that I only get sporadic cravings for. I probably would have gave it higher grades if I had less of it, because the more I drank it the worse it got, but the first half of my pint was pretty good.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper color with a pillowy, off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of pine and citrus hops.

Tastes of the bright hops with a solid malt backbone. Hops lead off with grapefruit, pine, and a touch of tropical notes on the backend. Moderately bitter. Malts add some caramel sweetness on the end to cut a bit of the bitterness, but this is definitely all about the hops. Ends with a lingering pine note.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good fruity IPA, but I knocked it down a bit due to price, $2.30 for 12 oz.

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3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A three finger fat fluffy off white head has nice retention and leaves a ton of lace as it fades. Nose has creamy veggie laced hops with a backround hint of citrus rind. Body is like pure liquid gold. Hops are very grassy much like dandilion stems as you take first sip. The bitter feel is ling and quite butally fat on the back of the tongue. There is a bit of citrus pulp to the end of the palate. Mouthfeel is hugely bitter. The lack of balance kind of hurts the drinkabilty.

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Photo of bcm119
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a slight haze. Puffy, off-white head that deflates to a sticky lace. Sweet, cookie dough caramel malt aromas with some spicy hop notes. Begins with soft, toffee caramel malts carried by firm hop bitterness. Hops do a nice job of bringing out the subtle caramel malt flavors while natural carbonation feels soft and smooth. Malt profile and delicate mouthfeel lean toward the English style; hops are herbal and spicy but not as citrusy as some California IPAs. The hops clean up the finish leaving a pleasantly dry, grainy flavor with a lingering grapefruit pith aftertaste. Overall a very well crafted IPA; I'd call it an English-American hybrid in style.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a hazy orange with loads of carbonation ripping up the sides of the glass. A nice, rocky, bubbly head sits beautifully above the brew, and leaves massive lacing.

Smell: Hops! Hops! And more hops! Grapefruit and lemon greet my nose at first, with an almost complete absence of malts. Very herbal, very fruity, and very hoppy.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow. A huge hop presence at first, almost over-bearing, but just right. The middle a nice amount of malts shine through, and the end is nice, dry and hoppy. An incredibly hoppy taste, with hints of pine, herbs, oranges, and so much more. But so how it manages to remain well-balanced.

Drinkability and Overall: An outstanding beer to say the least. Hugely hoppy, and still well-rounded. I wish I had more than one of this, but thank God I got to try it. One of the best IPA's I've had to date.

Thank you GClarkage for another phenomenal beer. The beer Gods smile upon you.

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a somewhat bemused deep amber color, the head biggish in size, frothy in texture and a light tan color, as it diminishes in size the lace forms a nice covering sheet. Hop floral nose, underpinned my sweet malt, lemon like crispness and a real treat, start is slightly sweet, nice malt profile, the top fair to middling in its feel. Acidic bite at the finish, hops slap your palate big time, somewhat dry and bitter aftertaste, a fine California IPA, looks like another order with “Beer On The Wall” is due, as its not available here and I’m “Out”.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was able to find this in Santa Cruz-and man I am happy.

Pours a creamy head while the body is copper.

There is an initial malt sweetness that hits you at first but with a very nice hop bitterness in the finish.

I could drink this nearly everyday-

Perhaps I had a fresh bottle-but I really enjoyed this beer and look forward to tasting their other brews-

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Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous hop that exhibited piney and herbal characteristics.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal spicy hop that lingered through the experience. A soild grainy malt supported the heavy hops well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style with a spice tingle.

Overall a superior AIPA that offers a different hop profile than most. Thanks to brentk56 for the sample.

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Photo of Ilovebeer1549
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to golubj.
Pours golden in color with about two inches of head. Smell is very nice citrus and piney, grassy hops. Taste is more of the citrusy and piney hops, however there is something at the very end of each sip that just isn't fitting. A very dominant off flavor at the finish. Everything up until that point is very good however.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled on 1 February 2003. This is a nice looking pour. It has a cloudy orange color w/ fluffy medium head. Lots of citrus, mainly grapefruit hops are on the tongue. It is a very refreshing beer to drink. This is a very nice IPA and I hope to see it available locally sometime

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $5.00 for a pint from the Brewpub in Morgan Hill, CA.

Was delivered to me with a half finger white head that quickly dissipated. Very little lacing. Nice carbonation. Goldish copper color.

Very strong orange citrus pine nose.

The overwhelming hots hide the flavor of the malts. Finishes bitter and hoppy which lasts.

Medium body, hefty carbonation.

This is a re-review of a batch that is not as good as previous batches I've tried. One thing I have began to notice in El Toro beers is that consistency among their beers is somewhat lacking. This batch did not lace the glass much, had a smaller head and was even less balanced making it not as easy to drink.

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Photo of znarf
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beware, I am a hop head, Three Floyd's Alpha King being my current beer of choice. For my taste El Toro IPA has a cleaner finish. This is not a criticism of the Alpha King, just a comparison. When a flavor is great, I do not mind it lingering. El Toro IPA is available year around for you enjoyment. It is worth pursuing if you local store does not stock it. Great for sipping while grilling in your back yard.

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El Toro IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 93 ratings